Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Unfair Previews, Fall 2008: CBS


ABC & The CW

I'm getting there! CBS today, Fox in the near future.

CBS is adding five new shows to their Fall schedule, two comedies and three dramas, which is as many as ABC and the CW combined. I know it was a slim pilot season, what with the writers strike, but dang, there is not a lot of new material out there.

On Monday CBS gives us the sitcom Worst Week, but doesn't give us a whole lot of info about it. Apparently, it involves a screw-up trying to ingratiate himself with his future in-laws. But that's all CBS is telling us. There's no cast page, no creator background, no in-depth show description. There is a brief clip. What's good about that is it tells me the in-laws are played by Kurtwood Smith (who of course co-starred in the greatest movie ever made, and is awesome) and Nancy Lenehan (who is probably currently best known for her recurring role as Earl's mother on My Name Is Earl, and who is always funny). What's bad is the star of the show is an unappealing schlub. And it seems much of the humor will be the comedy of humiliation. I am not a big fan of the comedy of humiliation. It's why I've never watched the original version of The Office -- it's too painful. Well, at least that'll give me a good excuse not to watch this. Aside from, "It will probably suck."

The Mentalist, on Tuesday, immediately benefits from not being about Uri Geller, as I more than half-feared (after all, CBS already airs a show glorifying the repugnant con artist James Van Praagh). Sadly, there's not much else to recommend it. It's yet another crime procedural in which a really smart but socially inept detective probes grisly murder scenes and is often doubted by his co-workers even though he's always right. Isn't that, like, every other show on the air these days? This one stars Simon Baker, and seriously, I am so sick of that dude. Why does TV keep trying to convince me he's a star in the making? Or even mildly interesting? Stop it, TV!

Wednesday gives us the other sitcom, Project Gary. Now, I generally like Jay Mohr. That scene in Jerry Maguire where he totally destroys Tom Cruise, all the while with a big, phony, shit-eating grin on his face -- tremendous. And you know I love each and every one of you reading my blog. Except for Burgas -- HE KNOWS WHY!!! (Please note: not really true.) My point is, if any of you fine folks were here in front of me right now, I would punch you in the head. Right square en la cabeza! Because Project Gary has filled me with an infinity of rage, and I so desperately need to punch something.

It is awful, awful, awful, awful, awful. The writing is grotesquely bad. The kid playing Mohr's son is the worst child actor since Anakin in The Phantom Menace. (The Phantom Menace kid, by the way, hasn't had a proper acting job since 2001, which is only fair. Also, he'll be turning 20 next year. How old does that make you feel, you young bastards?) Even the logo angers me -- the "Project" has been written in in red ink, as though a proofreader were making a correction:

But as anyone who has ever done any proofreading will tell you, that caret symbol is upside down. Here:

Fixed it for you. Also, technically, the caret should be at the bottom of the line, and the word to be added should appear at the end of the line... but let's not open this nitpicky can of worms any farther than I already have. My main point remains: this show sucks, and I hate everyone and everything because of it.

Moving on.

Thursday, we get Eleventh Hour, yet another crime procedural. This one features Rufus Sewell, playing the love child of Michael Madsen and Mickey Rourke, as a, get this, biophysicist who solves crimes. Well, TV has already given us mathematicians and taxi drivers and novelists and jazz musicians who solve crimes; at this point, a hard-boiled biophysicist crimefighter seems downright quaint. Riley from Buffy appears to be playing the traditional co-worker-who-doubts-the-hero-even-though-he's-always-right role. And the hot blond doctor from Grindhouse plays a hot blond cop. I feel like I've already watched five seasons of this crap before it even airs. No thank you.

Finally, on Friday we get The Ex List, which is about a needy mess of a woman who is told by a psychic that A) she has already dated her future husband, and B) if she doesn't find him again in one year, she will never get married. First of all, CBS: what is with you and psychics? Knock it off. Secondly, what a horribly irritating person the main character is! I watched a one minute clip of her, and I already want her to fail miserably in her ridiculous quest (which I presume will involve her having lots of wacky misadventures with the battalions of men she has apparently slept with over the years). In fact, I will make my own psychic prediction: if this show lasts long enough to meet that one year deadline, we will also see cows bowl for donuts on the moon.

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